Here in California, sycamore trees are common, found often alongside creeks and streams. Every autumn their leaves change color, creating a colorful world above and below. The leaves are large, too, often more than 10-12 inches (40-45 cm) in diameter.
Monday, Josh and I drove up the coast into Santa Barbara County, specifically to go to Nojoqui Falls (pronounced NOW-WHA-KEY). To get there, we took the 101, enjoying views of the Pacific Ocean, and then into hills around Solvang. A quick turn onto the Old Coast Road, and a bit more of a drive, and there we were. Nojoqui Falls are one of the few waterfalls in our area – water is not common here, so they are a real delight after the rain. To reach them, you walk up a trail that moves into an ever-narrowing canyon. The bright of day gives way to gloom and shade, with only spots of bright light breaking through. Along the way, beautiful sycamore line the trail, some old and twisted, others magnificently tall.
This has been – and still is – a summer with heat every day. Luckily, the nights cool off from 100F to 72F, and the humidity is low. That is the only good news is that life is bearable. But, with fires burning everywhere in California, the sky is not blue but yellowish, and the light that comes in has a orangish glow. Ash is dropping out of the sky.
I haven’t been doing too much of anything for the past several weeks for a lot of reasons, but lately I’ve been struck with the urge to look at some of my pictures differently in post: I don’t care what they “should” look like, I want them to “express” what I want them to look like! And this heat is the perfect example of expression.
Taken with a Cosina CX-2, panorama of 9 images, stitched together and cropped in PS6 using Agfa Vista 200 film.
One of the few native trees that lose their leaves in the fall, sycamores are always something special in the autumn and winter months with their colorful foliage.
Last week I took five rolls of film for processing. This was taken with Kodak UltraMax 400 with an Olympus Trip 35. It was a dark and stormy day when I wandered out, but even with 400 iso film, the images came back extremely noisy. I had to do a bit of work to get the roll even somewhat acceptable, in my eyes, but some of the pictures were really nice.
My cheap “go to” films for 135 are Kodak UltraMax 400 and Agfa Vista 200, but I think I am going to use up the UltraMax to see how it works in different cameras. It could be that the Olympus was at fault as it died a bit later. I don’t want to just be done with it, but want to see if there are other issues involved.
This sycamore curves and twists over a steep fall into a barranca. How it hangs on is rather amazing! And when the leaves change, it is a stunningly beautiful tree.
In case you don’t know, I absolutely love trees.
After more winter storms than we have had in years, the ground is sodden with fallen leaves. Everything smells deep and rich. The trees are bare. Winter is here in California – but it is to be up to 74 F next week!
Another image from the Moonrise Trail. Because it varies from sunny to shady, it’s a great place to play with exposure and other photo-y things, like compensation, speed, and aperture.
This was taken using the Canonet GIII QL17, Agfa Vista 200, and scanned at home using the Pakon NonPlus. Some tweaks in LR and On1.
The Trip 35 is a zone focusing system, where the focus is determined by 4 different clicks, from about 3 feet away to infinity. Here I wanted to see how it did with a leaf at the closest level. The rest blurs out . . . not too bad.
I have never used Ilford Super XP2 400 film, which is a b&w film developed in C-41, used for color film processing. Not SOOC, but pleasing enough with some post. Although I was out shooting just to use the film up – to see the results – I did make a few photos I liked.